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So if you’re looking to honestly answer the question of what marriage “does” to someone, there is no reason to leave out divorced people.But the effects of doing so are clear: Divorce tends to make people less happy, so if you exclude divorcees from your population of married people, that could artificially inflate their reported happiness and well-being.What are the most important differences between single people and married people?If you asked most people this question, they’d probably answer that single people tend to be a bit lonelier, a bit sadder, maybe a bit more lacking in life purpose and fulfillment compared to their married friends and family members.In 2014, there were 107 million and they comprised 45 percent of thepopulation.In other words, single people are getting harder and harder to ignore.“I just assumed that all these claims I had seen so often — get married, you’ll be happier, healthier — I just assumed they were all true,” she said.
And yet: People, on the whole, seem less into marriage than they used to be.“The idea has been that everybody wants to get married, and eventually everybody will, so why bother studying single people? Single people are either people who have failed to get married, in other words, or married-people-in-waiting.They’re not worth studying as a category untothemselves.The article doesn’t contain any numbers, but the findings aren’t particularly impressive: 92.9 percent of currently married people rated their health as good or excellent, as compared to 92.6 percent of lifelong single people. So on the one hand, there are a bunch of marriage studies that are far less conclusive than they are portrayed to be, and on the other are very few studies about single people — De Paulo said that hardly anyone has tried to “study single life from the perspective of single people.” She mentioned in her slide deck that according to a search of a database of journal articles she conducted, between 20 there were 19,582 academic articles about marriage, and just 501 about people who have always been single.As for articles “motivated by a desire to understand single life,” rather than ones focused on the question of how single people shake off their singlehood?
A grand total of 34 published articles, research reports, and book reviews in that 15-yearspan. For one thing, it has cast a new light on the question of loneliness.